Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th May 2008 21:00 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Ever since I started using computers, I've been baffled by the relative clumsiness of installing applications. Whether we are talking the really old days (launching the Rambo game off a tape), the '90s (running Keen or using installers in Windows 95), or the modern days (still those installers, but now also package management and self-contained applications); it's all relatively cumbersome, and they all have their downsides. I decided to put my money where my mouth is, and come up with my idealistic, utopian method of installing, running, updating, and uninstalling applications.
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If programs are organized as AppDirs, and they are not allowed to rely on being installed in a specific location in the file system hierarchy, this may be achieved simply by unzipping the app wherever you prefer. No need for installers at all.

The trick with Thom's attributes idea, is that you can still query installed applications even if no installer was used to put them there.

Oh, and yes, the system admin should still be allowed to choose which users are allowed to install software this way. In corporate environments for example it's often preferred that users are not allowed to install anything but instead ask the admin for that.

Unix security has a very simple way to do this. Just mount the home partition as noexec. There simply is no way you can stop the user from putting a binary in his home directory, but noexec makes sure that no user installed files can be executed.

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